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When Alex Told Me “We’re going to New York!!!”

When Alex Told Me “We’re going to New York!!!”

Hi!

I hope you’re doing well. I’m in this little café in New York’s Lower East Side called Ludlow Coffee Supply that I really like. It’s Saturday morning and it’s raining in New York, which I really like to witness! I like to watch people walking by while sipping this black liquid gold as I slowly gather my thoughts around the great story that I want to share with you this week!

I wanted to first and foremost thank everyone who took a few minutes to answer last week’s Club Missive. It was very inspiring to read what music means to you and to discover which songs were significant to you! Music, such as life, is so rich, limitless, and powerful beyond measure! Every time I’m in a concert venue, I like to look around me and see what kind of people this artist gathers, and I always think about how only music can bring all those different people together. I didn’t have the time to answer you yet, as it’s been quite a busy week in New York, but my answers will come at some point! Let’s keep this conversation open and as I go deeper into reading the Elephant 6 book, I’m sure more questions will come to mind! :)

The rain just stopped, and I decided to add a New York soundtrack to this day with some Beastie Boys in my headphones! I love this band and Alex does too! I have never seen them live – shame on me! 

I have walked a lot since I arrived here earlier this week. I decided not to take the subway and to walk to my different meetings in pretty much every part of the city, and it was during one of these walks that I walked past Hotel Chantelle – very close to where I am right now – which is where we first played in New York back in October 2014!

To me, New York is like nowhere else in the world! The vibe of this city is incredible and vibrant! People are what makes this place what it truly is, and everywhere you look, it always makes me wonder “How is this all possible?!” I really love New York, as they say! :) So, to bring you into this history lane context, we’re in the summer of 2014. There is no Tangier, no Virginia, we just released our album “Between Illness and Migration” in Canada, and I’m on what we named “The Revolution Balcony” with Alex and we’re both organizing the upcoming fall tour we’re about to have with …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead for the European version of the aforementioned album.

As we’re having this planning conversation around the 10,000 details we have to oversee, I see Alex, sitting in front of me, look at his iPad, obviously not listening to a word I am saying! Then, at some point, something I never saw coming: he becomes kind of emotional but stays joyful even though he seems to be reading something non-stop, and I can feel it’s getting to him a lot! I obviously asked him what was going on, and he said “Are you ready for incredible news?!” “Of course, always!” I answer! He continues by saying the New York CMJ Festival invited us to play a showcase this October! I stood up and screamed, both my fists in the air! All the dogs in our area started barking! We literally jumped on one another and hugged for a few minutes! What a moment that was…! (As this memory came back to my mind while walking I was having this huge smile on my face, which is always a little odd when you’re alone and not on the phone.)

As I thought we were already busy with the Canadian media interviews popping up every minute since the album was selling quite well, the European release and the opening act tour, this was just insane! We had to get ready, of course: rent a van, trailer, hotel rooms, promote the show, and invite all these lovely music industry people to come and see us play – and we were competing against thousands of other bands playing all over the city! Crazy, but so exciting! Everything seemed possible! That feeling where things are finally aligned opportunity-wise is unbeatable!

One week prior to the New York concert, I received an email from the organizer saying this (I copy/pasted it):
"Quickly touching base as we’ve had some unexpected news from the CMJ festival this week. Unfortunately Fat Baby (former venue) have booked a private event which conflicts with our Canadian Blast showcase times and CMJ has been unable to make the venue budge. The festival apologized for the venue’s unprofessional behaviour and has found us an alternative which we are all happy with. We would ideally never wish to move a venue at any point (particularly this close to the date) but it’s clearly unavoidable in this instance. Apologies."

WHAT?!?!?! I sent hundreds of emails inviting people to our show, and now, it has changed location just a few days prior to the event! Unbelievable! To this day, I have never seen that before nor after this happened to us! My love for New York slightly dropped after this! And guess what? The replacement venue was an absolute disgrace! There was no stage, no real PA, the sound was like nothing you can understand, and the entire thing was a total mess! No back room to change, to get ready, no parking, and bringing the instruments in there was simply terrible! I hated all of it! 

But as you know Alex, he gathered us all before the show. “All right, guys. Here we are, in New York City for the first time, the city of Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Ramones, Sonic Youth, the Hotel Chelsea, the Factory, and on, and on! This is our time to leave something behind, and no one else will do it for us. So, *censored* this venue and all of what’s around it. Let’s get there and make sure people will always remember Your Favorite Enemies’ first concert in New York!” We were on fire, and Alex was above and beyond! He ended up jumping in the crowd (remember; they are pretty much all music industry delegates) and crowd surfed with his feet touching the ceiling of the room we were in! Yes, it was that much of a hole-in-the-wall kind of place!

The best part is that someone talked to me about this concert this week! I couldn’t believe it! It’s been, in the end, something quite memorable and I had to share this with you! :) The path to where we are now has never been easy, but it’s the best path there is and I’m so grateful to be back here in New York City, still building this incredible journey of ours!!! 

I speak with Alex every day. We text and call each other a lot. He’s recovering slowly, but he’s doing well. I will be joining him in two weeks! I can’t wait!

Let’s be great to one another!

Your Host and Friend, 
Jeff

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